Hello, hello friends- Katelynn again here to say lucky you! Today I ventured to Potluck Nursery, a neat little spot on the outskirts of Milly, located at 282 Cox Woodland Rd NW, Milledgeville, GA 31061. I was greeted by Loretta, the owner of the nursery of over thirty four years. She and her husband originally grew and sold landscaping plants, hence the ‘nursery’. Although she admitted it was a bit of a misnomer after the transition from landscaping to blueberry-ing, the name stayed do to its popularity. What inspired them to run a pick-your-own style farm? What started as their own personal garden turned into a whole heap of blueberry bushes! I think I should use the term “bushes” lightly, as most of them were taller than me and I like to think I am more of a small-tree height. But seriously, they have 5 acres of these colossal bushes and couldn’t possibly pick them all themselves, so the best (and funnest) solution was to let people pick their own!
The property has a sign that marks the beginning of the quaint dirt road that winds around to the front of the house, where you will see a sign for parking. Once you arrive, head on over to the table with belts and buckets and grab one of each. A belt, you say? To strap the bucket around your waist so you can pick with both hands (trust me, you’ll want to). After you strap on your belt, you're ready to go! There is a sign near the belt n’ bucket table that explains the price per pint and each bucket is marked. Near the first few acres of bushes is a lake and a picnic table for you and your friends and family to relax after you pick your first gallon; pack a lunch and make an afternoon of the experience!
So when are these naturally grown, pesticide and chemical free berries ready for picking? The season typically starts June 15th and can run as long as into the second week of August, but due to the fickle nature of…well, nature, you’re probably better off signing up for the seasonal email or calling 478-932-5390 about the availability. The season usually lasts until the end of July, but don’t wait until then! Plan your trip to Potluck Nursery today! And of course, for those of you who don’t feel like picking your own blueberries, Loretta and her daughter attend the weekly Green Market so swing by and pick some off their table, no belt and bucket required!
“Above all, we want to provide you a delicious healthful product that will offer a satisfying and memorable eating experience.”
Diet fads: they’re everywhere! No-fat, low-fat, high-carb, low-carb, no-carb, but what does it all mean? At the end of the day, our bodies will crave what they need and that is simply biology telling you what your body is missing. Over the past two decades, we have seen every diet fad that could come into existence (hopefully). Due to the health conscious wave that is sweeping the nation, we have seen plenty of lists that include the ‘superfoods’ like kale, spinach, salmon, and especially the elusive grass-fed beef. So what? Everything from quinoa to star fruit has had its time in the spotlight, but specialists continue to come back to the benefits of grass-fed beef; so why should we be eating it?
We have all seen grass-fed beef become all the rage recently but why is it such a big deal? What separates it from the skinless chicken breast us health freaks have come to love? Red meat has been cast in a bad light through the past years, but no more! Thanks to the exhaustive effort by farmers like Bob and Susan, the past twenty years science has shown that grass-fed is actually the healthy alternative to the ‘fat-free diets’ we all grew up on. These health benefits include a lower fat content, healthy dose of omega 3’s, linoleic acid and antioxidants like vitamin E, and these are only a few of the reasons to choose grass-fed. The best part? It's not only good for you, but also great for the livestock and the environment! A commercially raised cow is fed corn, a substance that is not nutritious or naturally occurring in a cow’s diet. Cows were never meant to survive, much less thrive, on a diet of only corn. Just as a human beings couldn’t live a healthy lifestyle munching on strictly cheetos their whole life, cows also can’t live a happy healthy life without proper nutrition! The mission of Fort Creeks Farms, as mentioned in their direct quote above, is not only to help people have a delicious as well as healthy eating experience, but also one that is memorable. How could you forget a meal that was good for everyone involved?
I think a good way to describe this farm is ‘accidentally trendy’ because Susan and Bob had no idea that grass-fed would have such a great reputation! They are very thankful that they learned about grass-fed cattle when it was a scarcely mentioned topic. Although they have several species in their livestock such as cows, chickens and goats, their goal is to provide sustainable beef as well as poultry.
The farm has been continuously used since 1840 (vintage, so trendy!). Susan and Bob have been running it since full time since 2000. I assumed this family has run grass-fed establishment for quite some time, but it turns out these two were actually city slickers with no prior farming experience! Pretty crazy news since I have heard about what a costly venture taking on grass-fed beef could be, even for the experienced farmer. This couple, according to Susan, went from “not knowing the front from the rear of cattle” to managing this farm all by themselves! She said the secret to their success was a lot--and I mean a LOT--of effort and determination. They attended any and every single farm tour and educational session they came across, and even went as far out as Virginia to learn about the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of grass-fed beef. Their knowledge grew and the farm grew with it, resulting in the delicious, nutritious, and environmentally-friendly beef that is sold at the Green Market!
Partnered with UGA to do a study about the health benefits of grassfed beef, they found that grassfed was better for humans as well as the cattle! They say “you are what you eat”, so who wouldn’t prefer a healthy, properly-fed steak? Susan mentioned studies are still being conducted on larger campuses such as Clemson, but she and her husband have always been passionate about the obvious (and delicious) benefits of grass-fed beef.
So now that you know where to get it and why it's healthy, how the heck do you cook it?! Susan shared the secret to a grass fed steak with me--get yourself a meat thermometer and once the middle of the steak reads 125 degrees, remove meat from heat and let sit from 5-10 minutes. Why let is sit before slicing into it? The juices need time for the meat to reabsorb them, resulting in a juicy, tender steak! For you hunters and venison fans, remember that these meats are similar in that they are much leaner than commercially grown meats and therefore need a slower, more gentle heat. They also highly recommend using a crockpot for their roasts (which come with free herbs for seasoning when purchased at the Green Market!).
So now that you know how to cook it and where it is available, pick some up on June 24th and July 1st! Fort Creek Farms will not be able to attend the farmers market on July 8th and 15th but will be back for every other market! We'll have samples from Fort Creek Farm at market this Saturday - I look forward to seeing you all for the samples this week and the weeks to come!
Learn more at: http://www.fortcreekfarms.com/
Photos of Fort Creek Farm:
This week's farm tour adventure was at Salamander Springs Farm in Haddock. When I arrived everyone was busy preparing to go berry picking at a neighboring farm. We met at the kitchen area that was oh-so-cutely decorated.
My tour guide, Anna, was from Macon and has been frequently the farm for about four years. She took me to the new library first. Turns out the whole place is as unique as the kitchen. In the library, built totally from recycled materials, there was a map of the farm drawn by local Milledgeville artist, Shelby Spooner.
We then toured the fields and the hoop house, I found it full of an assortment of produce and herbs. "Field" feels like the wrong word- it was more like an elaborate garden. The landscape was full of the personality of the owner and others. Anna told me that owner Debbie Waugh encourages the workers to express themselves through an art project. Workers, also known as WWOOFers (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) come to work and stay at Salamander Springs from all over the world. As we strolled past the hippie hot tub (bath tub you can light a fire underneath) we came upon the meditation/yoga hut. The front was decorated by one of the past contributors. Nothing more inviting than a mediation hut in the woods where pants are optional!
Salamander Springs donated rattle snake beans, leeks, scallions, and herbs for our cooking demo this week. I'm thinking maybe a hummus and some herbal tea? Stop by the Nourish Cooking Demo booth to check it out!
Photos of Salamander Springs Farm:
ZUCCHINI ZOODLE SALAD
6/10/17 Nourish Cooking Demo at The Green Market
By: Katelynn Brock
-1/2 large zucchini
-1/2 red onion
-1 clove garlic
-4 cherry tomatoes
-2 tablespoons pesto (from $1.29 Aldi, or make your own!)
-parmesan cheese to taste
-salt and pepper to taste
1. Spiralize or thinly slice zucchini
2. Chop onions, tomatoes, and garlic
3. Combine all ingredients and toss with tongs
4. Eat and enjoy!
Howdy! I'm Katelynn Brock and I'm doing my Public Health internship at The Green Market. I am the outreach coordinator for the Nourish program and I am looking forward to doing cooking demos at the Green Market every Saturday for the summer. Each week, I visit a different local farm to meet the farmer and check out what veggies, fruits and more that they are bringing to market.
This week I went to Double L Ranch and met up with the owner, Lori. Owners Larry and Lori Smith love their kids; and by kids, I mean goats! All of the goats responded by name, but the two that were the most friendly were Dolly and Smoky. Dolly was Lori's first goat and birthed two more that also had children, resulting in three generations right in her front yard! In the back yard, they have corn, several squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and more (and coming very soon-peppers)! The most interesting crop though? Definitely the loofah plant! I had no idea that those sea-sponge-impostors were actually plants that have a hard shell and require a lengthy soak before they can make their way to your bathtub.
All of the land and livestock are maintained by her and her husband; needless to say, they have their work cut out for them! This week, they spent a lot of time harvesting zucchinis and cucumbers that were HUGE and beautiful! I'm thinking I'm going to make some zucchini noodles, a.k.a. zoodles. I'm looking at this recipe to come up with our demo this week. Come out to the market this Saturday to see what I whip up with these awesome Double L Ranch Veggies!
Photos of Double L Ranch: